Case study: Cypress Truck Lines improves driver safety with video programme

Cypress Truck Lines is using SmartDrive to improve driver safety

A look at how a Florida-based flatbed carrier is benefitting from the SmartDrive dual-camera video system.


Within weeks of implementing the SmartDrive video-based programme in 2014, Cypress Truck Line, a family-owned and operated flatbed carrier in Florida, saw a 57 per cent improvement in its overall safety score, with 58 and 48 per cent reductions in speeding and distracted driving, respectively.

In the three years since adopting the dual-camera configuration, and with steady, sustained progress, Cypress has improved its safety score by 80 per cent overall, and the fleet has reduced instances of exceeding the maximum fleet speed by 100 per cent.

"As a family-owned company, it was critical for us to find a solution that was efficient and could deliver significant results with limited time investment from managers," said Matthew Penland, vice president of risk management at Cypress. "The SmartDrive analytics team has been there with us every step of the way, providing actionable data on what skills our drivers need to improve to be safer and prevent collisions before they occur.”

He said the SmartDrive programme had been a key tool to manage and control the safety of a continually changing driver base, and enabled the company to recruit new drivers and get them up to speed quickly on the stringent safety standards required.

“We have an obligation to the motoring public to put safe drivers on the road and that's a responsibility we take very seriously," he said.

The video-based safety programme identifies unsafe driving with an open platform that captures video, vehicle, audio and driving data, and automatically offloads footage for expert review and analysis, providing a clear, complete picture of what happened on the road. In many cases, the video helps quickly exonerate drivers when they're not at fault in an incident.

The management team at Cypress has developed a robust coaching programme for its more than 530 drivers based on the actionable data served up by the platform. Because footage and analysis are provided in real time, the coaching team spread across Cypress' service area can meet with drivers on an as-needed, individual basis.

"By having in-cab as well as forward-facing cameras, we can prevent accidents through proactive coaching on the skills our drivers need to be safer," said Penland. "The driver-facing cameras give us insight into what our drivers are doing at the time of an incident so our safety team can address and correct dangerous habits, leading to a direct improvement in driver safety behind the wheel."

With an aim of creating a positive company culture focused on safety and retaining its quality drivers, Cypress has created a safety bonus programme using the individual safety scores assigned to each driver. Drivers are continually given specific and tailored feedback from management on how they can improve, and drivers can also track their personal score on a mobile device, giving them the opportunity to learn and self-correct. Those who demonstrate consistently strong driving skills with no-fault incidents, as well as those who show solid improvement, are rewarded.

In addition to overall improvements in safety over the past three years, Cypress also credits the multifaceted insights provided by the SmartDrive programme with dramatically improving the following metrics: increased seatbelt use by 89 per cent; reduced handheld mobile phone use by 96 per cent; and reduced unsafe following by 78 per cent.

"Forward thinking, innovative fleets like Cypress are embracing the SmartDrive programme and realising the powerful impact it has on driver recruitment and retention," said Steve Mitgang, CEO of SmartDrive. "We're proud to call Cypress a long-term partner and are thrilled to see the improvement they've had in overall safety as they've grown their business; being able to tell a complete story with video after an incident or collision is a formidable tool."

SmartDrive Systems is based in San Diego, California, and employs more than 650 people worldwide.

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